Analysis of small deformation of helical flagellum of swimming Vibrio alginolyticus

Yasunari Takano, Kazuki Yoshida, Seishi Kudo, Megumi Nishitoba, Yukio Magariyama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


The deformation of a flagellum of Vibrio alginolyticus, single-flagellate bacteria, is analyzed theoretically assuming the shape of the flagellum to be a circular helix. The viscous force exerted on the flagellum in aqueous fluid is estimated applying the resistive-force theory based on the Stokes flow. The moment of force in the flagellum are described in analytical expressions and also the curvature and the torsion of the deformed flagellum are expressed analytically according to the Kirchhoff rod model. The deformation of the flagellum is obtained numerically solving evolution equations which determine a space curve from the curvature and the torsion. Comparing variations of the pitch of helical flagella between the numerical solutions and the results of measurement, the flexural rigidity or the elastic bending coefficient for the flagellum of Vibrio alginolyticus is estimated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1241-1247
Number of pages7
JournalJSME International Journal, Series C: Mechanical Systems, Machine Elements and Manufacturing
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2003 Dec


  • Flagellar hydrodynamics
  • Flexible flagellum
  • Kirchhoff rod model
  • Resistive-force theory
  • Swimming bacterium
  • Vibrio alginolyticus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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